Czech Republic's Matyáš Klíma set a world record in the Single Buck on his way to a stunning STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie European Championship victory at Motorworld Munich, Germany.
The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie European Championship saw the top 12 newcomers from the 2020 European Rookie rankings come together to set PBs aplenty and two world records on their way to crowning Europe's top rookie in The Original Extreme Sport.
On a stunning day of competition across three tense rounds of thrilling woodchopping and sawing axe-tion, Klíma emerged victorious with a total of 65 points, having topped the scoreboard in three of the five disciplines.
He finished ahead of France's Loic Voinson on 58 points, who was consistent throughout, and Switzerland's Oliver Reinhard, who set a world record in the Springboard discipline.
Having occupied the top two positions in the 2020 European rankings, Reinhard and Voinson entered the competition as slight favourites, but it was Klíma who set the tone in the opening round with a personal best of 20.24 seconds in the Underhand Chop, which was enough to see him finish in first place in the discipline and collect the maximum 12 points. Reinhard and Voinson followed hot on his heels with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Despite a wobble in the Stock Saw, which saw Italy's Michel Perrin impress with a time of 12.94, Klíma's opening discipline was enough to ease him into the second round of competition alongside Voinson and Reinhard. Lukas Wagesreiter (Austria), Sébastien Bato (France), Robin Haas (Switzerland) and Marcel Steinkämper (Germany) bowed out, with only the top eight across the opening two disciplines progressing to the second round.
Klíma set another PB in the Standing Block Chop with a time of 21.30, whilst Voinson (22.03), Perrin (23.87) and Reinhard (24.77) continued to cement their place in the top four of the overall standings.
Undoubtedly the crucial moment of the competition came in the fourth discipline, the Single Buck. With six of the eight-man field setting PBs, Klíma posted a stunning world record of 13.51 seconds to take maximum points for the third time in the competition.
It was the end of the road for Poland's Mikołaj Groenwald and Sweden's Edvin Karlsson, with only the top six athletes progressing to the third round and the fifth and final discipline: the Springboard.
During another discipline awash with PBs, Reinhard piled on the pressure with a world record time of 48.52. Stepping up in the final heat with Reinhard occupying top spot in the overall standings, Klíma and Voinson went head-to-head knowing if they could get close to Reinhard's record the championship would be theirs. Klíma emerged victorious with an impressive time of 1:01.21 to clinch the crown, with Voinson's time of 1:24.61 enough to claim second place, with Reinhard finishing on the third step of the podium.
STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie European Champion, Matyáš Klíma, commented: "I feel pretty surprised and I'm so happy. My goal was to do a great job in my mind and to not make any mistakes. "I was so excited to set a world record too, I'm so proud."
Runner-up Loic Voinson said: "I am very happy about the second place. This was an international competition for which I had invested a lot of time and training beforehand and I was really fired up. "In retrospect, I could have done some things better, but I am very happy with the result."
Oliver Reinhard, who finished third and set a world record in the Springboard, added: "Beforehand I thought a place on the podium would be nice. First place didn't quite work out but I'm happy with third.
"I feel good about the world record. I didn't think it would last, but I'm lucky to call myself the world record holder in the one board Springboard."
1) Matyáš Klíma, Czech Republic (65 points)
2) Loic Voinson, France (58 points)
3) Oliver Reinhard, Switzerland (47 points)
4) Michel Perrin, Italy (43 points)
5) Alessandro Ciaponi, Italy (34 points)
6) Michal Škornička, Czech Republic (31 points)
7) Edvin Karlsson, Sweden (24 points)
8) Mikołaj Groenwald, Poland (23 points)
9) Marcel Steinkämper, Germany (10 points)
10) Robin Haas, Switzerland (9 points)
11) Sebastien Bato, France (9 points)
12) Lukas Wagesreiter, Austria (7 points)
Full results and final standings for the Rookie European Championship can be found on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® database.